Traumatic intracranial haemorrhage is in association with an increased risk of subsequent atrial fibrillation

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Abstract

Objective

Traumatic intracranial haemorrhage (ICH) leads to systemic inflammatory response and arrhythmia. Atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common arrhythmia, is associated with systemic inflammation. However, limited evidence is available regarding the association between traumatic ICH and AF.

Methods

This study used the National Health Insurance Research Database, a nationwide population-based cohort, in Taiwan and total 130 171 individuals with traumatic ICH from 2000 to 2011 were identified. Furthermore, individuals without traumatic ICH were selected as a comparison cohort by the propensity score method. Individuals with prior history of AF were excluded from this study. The endpoint of interest was the occurrence of AF and the follow-up was terminated by the occurrence of AF, loss of follow-up or the passing of 31 December 2011.

Results

During the follow-up period, the incidence of AF was higher in patients with traumatic ICH than in those without traumatic ICH (4.24 vs 4.12 per 1000 person-years). After adjustment for age, sex and all AF-associated comorbidities, the individuals with traumatic ICH had a 1.25-fold increased risk of AF (HR=1.25, 95% CI=1.18 to 1.32; p<0.001). Stratified by sex and age, the incidence of AF was consistently higher in the traumatic ICH group. Relative to the individuals without traumatic ICH and without comorbidities, the risk of AF was the highest in the individuals with both traumatic ICH and comorbidities; this risk was higher than that of the individuals with only traumatic ICH; it was also higher than the risk for those only with comorbidities.

Conclusion

In this large-scale cohort study, the future risks of AF are higher in patients with traumatic ICH compared with the comparison cohort. Carefully monitoring the occurrence of AF and proper anticoagulation therapy might be important in patients with traumatic ICH.

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